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2:27pm on Thursday, 21st September, 2006:

Musical Notes


We got our new piano yesterday.

Hmm, given that we didn't have an old one, I suppose that should be "We got our piano yesterday", but it is a new one. Mind you, it isn't actually a piano — it's a digital piano. It's a Roland HP101e, in fact.

I had piano lessons as a child, so was able to sit down immediately and play the first two bars of the Minuet in G Major from the 1725 Notebook for Anna Magdelena Bach, BWV Anh.II 114, nowadays attributed to Christian Petzold. This never fails to impress, as people's default impression of me is that I, in common with most of the population, have no musical talent whatsoever.

Sadly, people are correct: I do indeed have no musical talent whatsoever. The first two bars of the Minuet from the 1725 Notebook of Anna Magdelena Bach, BWV Anh.I 114, is all I can play on the piano. I can't even manage the scale of C without a noticeable gap between E and F (unless I go really slowly). I learned the piece in order to enter the Hornsea Music Festival when I was about 9 years old, and I didn't do too badly — my mark came 6th out of 20 or more entrants, but there were several people sharing higher marks. The first two bars are all I'm capable of today, though, as I gave up the piano shortly afterwards.

I gave up for two reasons. Firstly, my piano teacher (one Alex Green) was that contradiction in terms, a Christian Scientist, and when he realised that I wasn't improving as a result of my lessons he suggested that the devil had got into me. That wasn't perhaps the motivational speech he was hoping it would be.

Secondly, the reason I wasn't improving was because I couldn't do anything much with my left hand — rather a disadvantage for that particular instrument.

Oh, there was also the problem that our neighbour complained about the noise made by the piano, which was loud enough for her to hear. Despite the name, pianofortes are more forte than piano, so I didn't get to practice as often as I'd have liked.

Digital pianos have headphones, though, so my younger daughter can practice as much as she wants and she won't bug any of us.

Then again, she can not practice and we'll never know...

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).